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‘Is That Ableist?’ Good Question.

Title, image, and quoted material from New York Times, July 16, 2022

I'm grateful for the author's ability to hold such a weighty and serious topic with such lightness and grace.

"As I recalibrated my language at lunch, I found myself growing skittish. 'She’s so weird,”'I said about a mutual friend.' I immediately stopped and asked: 'Is that ableist?'

'I don’t think so,' said Caitlin. 'Haben, what do you think?'

'I don’t think it’s tied to any disability,”'answered Haben. 'But it’s good to ask the question.'

Being unafraid to ask the question — 'Is that ableist?”'— is a crucial step in unraveling our society’s entrenched biases and discrimination against disabled people, who make up about 20 percent of the U.S. population. Of course, nobody likes being shamed for using the 'wrong' words. I was lucky to be with friends who were able to gently tease and instruct me, instead of scold me. We will all make mistakes, but we can remedy them, too."


It's good and humble and inclusive to ask the question.

It can be hard to settle or agree on the right answer.

And it's nice and helpful to be in the company of people who care more about fumbling forward as best we can than policing and playing gotcha.


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